China’s meat imports for August fall, but remain higher than 2019

China imported 832,000 tonnes of meat in August, down almost 17 percent from July – but imports remain high as Beijing seeks to counteract a domestic shortfall in pork production.
calendar icon 7 September 2020
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Reuters reports that Chinese customs data shows meat imports for July 2020 reaching 998,000 tonnes, but shipments had been expected to slow as exporters suspended cargoes from plants where workers tested positive for COVID-19.

China is also taking additional measures to test arriving shipments for the presence of the virus, which has slowed cargo clearance at some ports.

The August number is the lowest since May when China imported 816,000 tonnes of meat.

Imports for the first eight months of the year are still up 73 percent at 6.58 million tonnes, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday. Customs only began releasing monthly data for all meats combined this year.

China's pork output fell 20 percent in the first half of the year after the fatal hog disease African swine fever ravaged its huge hog herd over the last two years.

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